High potential vs. High performance: What’s the difference?

In this article we talk about the difference between high potential and high performance. It examines the characteristics, significance, and management strategies for both types of employees.

AG5 High potential vs High performance

As an employer, it can be challenging to identify which of your employees have the potential to be high-performers. But what exactly is the difference between high potential and high performance? We dive into these two concepts and explore some key differences between them.

What is high potential? Copied

High potential combines abilities, knowledge, and motivation that allow an individual to excel in a given role or responsibility.

You could determine this by previous experience, education, or a natural aptitude. To be considered as high potential, employees should have the potential to grow and develop into leadership roles within your company.

They should also be able to adapt to changes and new challenges.

Some common characteristics of high-potential employees include:

  • Strong work ethic
  • High intelligence
  • Motivation and determination
  • Leadership qualities
  • Creativity and innovative thinking
  • Excellent interpersonal skills


What is high performance? Copied

High performance is the ability to achieve results that meet or exceed expectations consistently. To be considered a high-performer, employees must be able to meet and surpass the goals and objectives set with and for them.

In addition, they should be able to produce consistent results over time, regardless of changes in their environment or circumstances.

Some common characteristics of high-performing employees include:

  • Consistency
  • Results-oriented
  • High standards of work
  • Steadfast and determined
  • Accountability
  • Commitment and loyalty


High potential vs High performance: The differences Copied

A critical difference between high potential and high performance is that high potential refers to the ability to grow and develop into leadership roles.

In contrast, high performance refers to the ability to achieve results consistently. Some consider high-potential employees as high-risk and high-reward because they may not yet have the skills or experience to meet all your expectations.

However, they have the potential to grow into leaders, which brings many benefits to your company.

On the other hand, high performers are more likely to meet all of your expectations. However, they may not always have the same long-term growth potential as high-potential employees.

Plus, if they are unhappy or feel a lack of reward, they may choose to move on.


High potential vs High performance: Which one is more important? Copied

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it depends on the needs and objectives of your company.

For example, a high-potential employee could be more compelling if you are looking for long-term growth and succession planning. However, a high performer may be better if you desire immediate results and consistent performance.

The bottom line is that high-potential and high-performance employees can be valuable assets to an organization.

However, it is vital to determine your needs and objectives before deciding which one is more relevant for your organization.


AG5 Skills Management Software Copied

AG5 software is valuable for managing employee skills and development. It offers a comprehensive solution that helps you identify, track, map, and develop the skills of your employees.

In addition, our plug-and-play apps support both succession planning and performance management.

Contact us today to learn more about employee skills management.

We would be happy to answer any of your questions or provide you with a demo of our software. Book your remote online demo today!

Author Copied

Revisions Copied

Original version | June 28, 2022

Written by:

Related posts

Use AG5 to identify skill gaps

Say goodbye to Excel matrices. Start using AG5’s plug and play skill matrix software.

Get a demo now

ISO27001 certified     Free trial available